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Brendan Rodgers: Why I rested players against Real Madrid

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Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says this weekend's game against Chelsea was not the reason why the likes of Raheem Sterling, Mario Balotelli and Steven Gerrard started on the bench against Real Madrid.

The manager opted not to include his top star players in the starting line-up for yesterday's Champions League game but insists his decision should not be seen as a gamble.

"I didn't see this as a big showcase game where I had to play the so-called names," said Rodgers.

"It might have seemed a gamble but for me it wasn't.

"The performance was far from throwing the white towel in. Right to the very end my players put in a performance befitting of the wonderful club this is.

"I didn't rest players for Saturday. I picked a team that I thought could get a result. The players that came in were excellent and we were unfortunate not to get a result.

"We have seven games in 21 days.

"We are trying to adapt new players into our ways of working and because we do not have as much time for training, we have to look at them and develop them in games at the moment.

"We defended very well when we had to against a team that are scoring five or six a game and are the best team in the world at the moment."

Karim Benzema's first-half goal was enough for the hosts to win the game as they continue to dominate Group B on 12 points with Basel chasing on six points and Liverpool third on three points.

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